Three Key Fuel Supplier Challenges and How to Manage Them
The state of the petrol market in the U.K. and European Union would not inaccurately be considered a convulsion. Prices and supplies change not only daily but from hour to hour.
Downstream margins are at greater risk than they’ve ever been. Some energy industry professionals have found that their trusted methods, assumptions, and procedures, which served them well in decades past, can no longer keep pace in this new, volatile economic landscape.
What are the challenges facing petrol suppliers? Let’s look.
1. Inventory control
You need to know where you have product, who will lift it, and how much they’re allowed. If you’re using locally-saved spreadsheets and email communications, you might end up losing volume. Worse: you may not know you have lost product until the next authorised lifter comes to the terminal, only to find insufficient product. Unplanned runouts like these can harm business relationships through loss of trust. Also, tracking bills of lading can introduce gaps in your data between fulfilment and invoicing.
2. Market moves
As mentioned, extreme, rapid fluctuations in the energy market are now common in the U.K. Without instant notifications regarding competitor activities and actions in the greater market, your morning positions may not be tenable by afternoon. Trying to keep up with all the data that influences price changes could be a full-time job — on top of determining what reactions your company needs to make to maintain margins. But what’s the alternative?
Whether it’s a planned outage or an unexpected terminal issue, your customers need updates to prevent a cascade of problems for their partners and customers. If you’re managing several terminals, this can be daunting. Which customers are headed to a terminal with a runout? Why haven’t you heard from a specific terminal in several hours? Is it indicative of an issue you need to address? How do you ensure the information gets to the intended audience rather than an unaffected customer?
With this constant state of flux being a seemingly-permanent market condition — at least for the foreseeable future — U.K. fuel suppliers need better, faster-responding systems to aggregate, analyse, and disseminate data.
DTN TABS® meets these needs and more. You can establish groups of customers and manage product by terminal or across terminals. You also can manage customer credit in your preferred terms, such as litres, pounds, or loads, reducing or even eliminating bad debt write-offs. New to the U.K. market, DTN TABS will revolutionise how petrol is lifted, sold, and transferred.
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